In Japanese, usually when referring to martial arts, one will often notice the suffixes 'do' and 'jutsu', as in kendo or kenjutsu, iaido or iaijutsu, etc. This is confusing to some, and many use them interchangeably. This is incorrect.

The suffix 'justu' translates roughly to 'skill' or 'technique.' Thus:
- Ken (sword) jutsu (skill) = kenjutsu (swordsmanship, swordfighting)
- iai (the act of drawing a sword) jutsu = iaijutsu (sword-drawing technique)

The suffix 'do' is borrowed from the chinese 'tao' (pron: dow, like cow) and translates roughly to 'path' or 'way.' Thus:
- Ken (sword) do (way) = kendo (way of the sword).
What it reflects is an attempt to capture the basics of a skill or activity while leaving some of it out.

For instance, kendo is to kenjutsu what western fencing would be to real swashbuckling. Kendo is a sport that attempts to capture many of the aspects of actual japanese swordfighting, including the spiritual aspects. (Aspects that are sadly lacking in western fencing.)

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.